ANGLE’S ‘SECOND AMENDMENT REMEDIES’…. Of all the issues with Sharron Angle, the extremist Republican Senate candidate in Nevada, perhaps the most frightening is her willingness to talk about armed insurrection against the United States government. Her policy positions make her appear nutty, but this portion of her rhetorical repertoire makes her appear dangerous.

Given that Angle has spoken publicly about the possibility more than once, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a conservative paper, asked the Senate candidate to explain what she means when she talks about “Second Amendment remedies” to political disputes. Angle seemed annoyed by the question.

“I can’t believe people are even asking that,” Angle said in the brief interview. “I’m very much a proponent of the Second Amendment and the Constitution. But what we have to focus on here is a movement, a movement that’s about retiring Harry Reid” by voting him out of office.”

This vague and unhelpful answer came the same day Angle literally ran away from a journalist asking the same question.

This won’t do. A candidate for the U.S. Senate, who has already won her party’s nomination, has talked openly about the possibility of the armed overthrow of the government. Asked to clarify, she either flees from journalists, or gives a non-answer. It’s incumbent on all candidates to explain their beliefs to voters, but in this case, Angle’s extremism makes the responsibility all the more acute.

Jon Chait explained, “There’s been a lot of wild, loose rhetoric on the right since Obama took office — wilder and more mainstream than the equivalent on the left under George W. Bush — but Angle is really taking things dangerously far. The protection of the law is not enough to ensure the survival of a democracy. Democracies rely upon certain social and cultural norms in order to survive. An important one is a basic respect for the democratic process and a refusal to hint about the idea of actual armed rebellion. Angle did not quite advocate armed rebellion, but she did clearly egg it on it in a way that melds prediction with encouragement….The alarming thing is not so much what Angle said but how relatively little a ripple it has made…. It really seems like a dangerous milestone is the darkening mood of the American right.”

Angle won’t be able to literally run from this indefinitely.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.